web hosting review
Based in Lithuania, Hostinger is one of the largest hosting providers catering to more than 29 millions users daily. Part of the reason for its continued success is its performance and devotion to customer service.
The company claims an average response time of 143ms for its WordPress sites, and an average response time of 50s should you need any help. As admirable as these claims are, our experience was quite different on the Single Shared Hosting plan, and more at par with the shared plans of other hosting providers such as HostGator, as the average speed was closer to 800ms.
Even so, Hostinger offers lucrative features such as SSL certificate and Cloudflare protection if you purchase a year-long subscription. In addition to offering an email account, the Cloudflare protection also sets Hostinger apart from most of its peers, which reserve both these features for the higher priced plans.
Pricing and payment methods
Hostinger offers a range of services including shared hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting and even specialised hosting solutions such as WordPress hosting, cPanel hosting, etc. When choosing your hosting solution, you must carefully weigh the price of the package and features with your current needs. This is so that you don’t end up shelling money out on a plan that supports 25,000 monthly visitors and lets you deploy multiple websites, when you only need to set up a single website, which attracts around 8,000 monthly visitors.
|Discount Price/Month||AU$1.99 /Month||AU$2.99 /Month||AU$3.99 /Month|
|Normal Price/Month||AU$3.99 /Month||AU$6.99 /Month||AU$8.99 /Month|
You can get started with the Single Shared hosting plan for as little as AU$1.99 /Month. The plan is an absolute steal when you consider that it includes weekly backups, 30GB storage space.
Hostinger doesn’t provide dedicated hosting, which is aimed at large enterprises that require vast resources to accommodate their thousands of visitors. Your next best option is to pick from one of the eight VPS plans on offer. The cheapest plan is priced at AU$8.99 /Month per month for a four-year subscription and includes a single CPU core, backed by 1GB RAM, 20GB SSD storage, 1TB Bandwidth, full root-access and assorted features. The prices get steeper if you want more resources added.
As with most hosting providers, Hostinger supports payment through Google Pay and most Credit Cards. Payment through debit cards and regional payment gateways or wallets are not supported. Although the hosting provider resisted cryptocurrencies initially, it has now partnered with CoinGate, another Lithuania-based company, and accepts cryptocurrency as payment. However, Hostinger’s refund policy states that purchases made using cryptocurrencies are not refundable, which might defeat the 30-day money back policy.
Many hosting providers offer the option to interact with a representative as soon as you land on the website. This allows you to make an informed decision about the plan that might best suit your needs, or make specific inquiries about what’s on offer with the different plans. With Hostinger, the live chat is only available to its customers. You can, however, drop a general inquiry to its support staff if you have questions and they will get back to you.
You’ll also appreciate the vast repository of information in the Help Center, which is a collection of tutorials and instructions on managing your website and configuring different aspects such as emails, sub-domains, accessing FTP, etc.
In fact, you can search through the Help Center from the convenience of the Dashboard itself. Hostinger will provide results that best match your search query and more often than not, you can easily find the solution you’re looking for. If not, the live chat will be quick to address all queries. While Hostinger claims that it takes on average only 50 seconds to respond to the live chat queries, our experience was quite different as we were put in a queue and had to wait for over 15 minutes for a response. If you close the window, as we did, Hostinger informs that the reply will be sent to you via email. We received the email, which was quite informative and useful, after another 15 minutes. The second time we tried the live chat, the response was nearly instantaneous.
If you want more immediate replies, you should consider purchasing the Priority Support add-on, which will cost you AU$1.99 /Month per month if you opt for a four-year subscription.
You can access the live chat from the Dashboard. The chat window informs you that the usual response time is under one hour.
Something bizarre happened during our tests. Although we were able to initially access the live chat, the feature stopped working out of the blue. While the option to start a chat was still available, clicking on it did nothing. We were forced to file a general query with Hostinger.
The formal reply was to clear the browser cache, or switch the browser! Clearing the cache didn’t resolve the issue, but the latter trick worked. We were essentially forced to use an alternate browser just to get a fundamental feature to work.
We rounded off the review by using Uptime.com to monitor our test website from multiple locations around the world, logging response times and any downtime.
Our test site was hosted on Hostinger’s most basic shared hosting plan, but still managed a solid 100% uptime record over 10 weeks of monitoring.
Uptime.com recorded a response time range of 171ms to 1.73s, with an average of 382ms, over the last seven days of testing. Starter shared hosting plans typically manage 200-400ms with an average peak of 700-800ms, so Hostinger is clearly on the slow side when it comes to response times.
Page load times matter too, though, so we used Dotcom Tools’ Website Speed Test to measure our site performance from 16 locations around the US and Europe. This time the results were much better at 878ms, putting it in the top 25% of providers.
A mixed story, then, but keep in mind these are comparisons based on the cheapest shared hosting plan from each test provider. Some of those plans cost 5x to 10x the AU$1.39 /Month you could pay with Hostinger, so on balance we think the company did reasonably well.
Hostinger’s starter accounts have some significant limits, but they’ll still work for some, and otherwise its products offer plenty of features and powerful cPanel-like site management for a very fair price.